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Community Manager

Community Question: What is the biggest surprise you ever found at a car show?

We've all been there, just walking around a car show and taking a peek under the hood just to see the quality of a restoration or if there's some extra spice from the motor. I honestly could never have expected what was under the hood of this Packard 6 Sedan. 


Whatever motor is in there, it's painted the correct shade of Packard engine green. 


So feast your eyes on a green motor that has: 

  1. Ford Modular V8 valve covers
  2. Wait, that's a looooong valve cover????
  3. That's a Ford Modular V10
  4. No, that's a Ford Modular V10 with a Whipplecharger supercharger. 

I almost needed diaper when I realized what I was seeing. And, hate to say it, there were very few people impressed with this car, even though someone clearly spent a LOT of time and money on it! 

Community Manager

Here's a closer look at the engine. 




Surprises happen at Races too. Last weekend I found a Mclaren 620R in the parking lot. 1 of 225 built. In the past at Mid Ohio I have found the Lemans winning Mclaren GT F1 long tail. Also the actual 1977 Foyt winning Indy Car from the speedway museum. 


impressive build!   

Packard purists may thumb their nose, but this got built it and hopefully drives it!  


My biggest surprise was on my yearly trip to what was the Glenmoore  concourse show in Canton Ohio. 

I would  go to this show yearly and there was always some surprise or special car I did not expect. One year the Mormon Meteor one year to the worlds fair Cadillac V16 coupe or Edsel Fords custom 2 seat roadster. 

One year I walk out back and on the putting green was 5 coupes from the past. The Granatelli coupe and two others. But then there they were my favorite two coupes of all time. The So Cal coupe and the Pierson Bros coupe. I was speechless. 

I had seen the Pierson coupe at the Peterson Museum years ago but I had never seen the So Cal. But both right here in my back yard was amazing. 

As for things under the hood nothing shocks me anymore. I have seen it all. 

One big surprise was in 1993 Goodyear held a NASCAR day at their Akron test track. They had 12 of the top 13 in points there with their cars and their race transporters that were on their way to Michigan then to Indy to test for 5he coming Brick Yard. 

All the big names were there like Earnhardt, Martin, Wallace, Waltrip, Petty etc.  


We got in early because my father was a Goodyear employee but he was also disabled. We got into the track just as they shut the IROC cars down where the drivers gave drawing winners rides. I noted the rubber marbles there that these were not just a slow lane around the track. I spoke to one person that rode with Wallace. He said they tagged Earnhardt in the rear in the laps. 

My father got a big surprise. He was in the tent waiting for a press conference. This guy came in and sat with him. It was Joe Gibbs. My father was not a big racing guy but Football he was all in. Joe even showed him his super bowl ring and they talks ball. 

My surprise was I turned around and was face to face with Junior Johnson. I had no idea he was there. The first thing I said is what are you doing here! He was one of my all time hero’s. Along with him was Bill Neely.  Bill wrote a few racing books for Goodyear but he also wrote Stroker Ace. 

Surprises are not always cars at car shows.  

Intermediate Driver

Monday nights around here, car guys go to Mark's Cruise Night in East Granby, CT.  On any given night there will be 600 to 700 vehicles, and on Corvette night, there will be way more.  There are always surprises.  Mark's was where I learned that you could buy all the correct olden badges for a 2017 Chevy SS from your dealer, when I came across a black beauty whose owner had done just that.   Another time, it was a 1972 Toyota Crown 2 door wagon w/ 5 speed, whose original owner had special ordered it at a Toyota dealer in Tennessee back in the day.  The current owner had a bunch of questions about my 84 Celica Supra P-Type, because you just don't see them any more, and I was the only one at Mark's that summer.  There were more Ferraris and Lotuses.  LOL

Pit Crew

It was at a small, now defunct, car show close to home. Came across a Divco Milk Truck with a 427 rat motor. Tubbed-out, beautiful diamond tufted padded interior. One of the wildest customs I've ever seen. I have only seen this at that one show - never ran across it again.



Intermediate Driver

I have to ask - the location in the lead photo looks like it was taken at the Keels and Wheels event in Seabrook, TX.  Is that correct?

Community Manager

Intermediate Driver

Cool!  I missed your story on it and did not go this year, but I went about 4 years ago and had a blast.  I live in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio and we decided to make a weekend of it.  We went to the Keels & Wheels event on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it, including the boats (a couple had Chevy W-engines for power (348/409).)  The cars were immaculate and presented a wide variety of automotive excellence, from pre-war to hot rods and everything in between.  It was a wonderful day.  On Sunday, we went to NASA and toured the museum.  Just a short distance from the Keels and Wheels location, it is also a good day's activity.  Great fun with cars.

If you are based in Houston, do you ever get to San Antonio or COTA for the vintage events?

Community Manager

Yes I am based in Houston, I haven't been to COTA in a few months but it would be nice to go to a vintage race there! I am also interested in a car in San Antonio, but its probably a good thing I don't visit because I need another car like I need a hole in my head. 




The biggest surprise ???

Can’t pick just one.   Here’s some top picks,


Fake Delco battery tops.

Fake Blowers.

More poser SS 396 and GTOs than real.

Poser 396/375s w/hyd Cams.

Hurst Competition Plus Shifters and no clutch !


pics below are self explanatory....





Community Manager

I need to invest in hose clamp futures...


I guess I do need explanations. All I see are an unnecessary mechanical fan, a unique way to position a shifter handle, a positive battery post that's uncomfortably close to an A/C dryer, and I use screw clamps on fuel line all the time.


At big 'Back to the Fifties' bash in St. Paul in '19, I saw smoke, then a car coming down the street among the crowd, an old '58 Edsel with the entire family inside, this their first time into the world of old cars, they got parked and I walked over.  Young family, this car all but falling apart, rusty, noisy and fuming but they were there, the guy said he was going to 'fix it up', he was able to get it running after sitting for years, got to give credit where it's due.  I advised new plugs, new ignition items and a good cooking of his carb', then go from there.  They had come to have fun, join the 12,000 other cars there and they did, smoke, noise didn't matter, they accomplished the goal of being there, they were.


Advanced Driver

Biggest surprise was a 1966 K10 short bed fleetside with 6.5 x 16 wheels, 292 I-6 and 4-speed, immaculately restored to factory correct specification. Diaper indeed!


An absolutely stately and stunning 1953 Packard Carribean Convertible, at the Silverado Concours (no longer), A Mercedes Benz 300, both Doors up, the Parking Lot, Belmont Yacht Club, sorry, 300SL, and more......thanks for the memories.

Pit Crew

My future wife............

New Driver

Biggest surprise I ever found was a Ford engine in a '32 Ford.

Community Manager


New Driver

It's kinda of a rarity.I bought my 35 ford pickup as a street/hot rod and has all FORD drive line,Motor 302from 71 Torino,Trans C6 89 Econoline, Rear Diff. 2000 Ranger.Will upgrade motor Blue Print Hot Rod 302 and put Posi in the Rear. I just love my ride.


A Jensen Interceptor. Never heard of them before then. It was a 10K intact running car, and I would have bought it if I were not between careers at the time. Haven't come across one for less than 30K since

...and if there is one thing I HATE is people removing proper drivetrains from older cars and replacing them with fuel injected engines. My neighbor had a Packard 115C and he wanted to put a SBC in it - and I told him the amount of butchering he would have to do to the car and frame was beyond sacrilege. The Packard pictured above would probably be a 6-figure car if someone hadn't turned it into a Ford truck. If you don't like old cars pleeease stop buying them people

Advanced Driver

I saw a 1930s Packard with a Pontiac V-8 and front clip at a show years ago. Looked to be in near perfect condition. I'm not a Packard expert by any means, and didn't notice that a lot of the little detail things were actually from other makes (like the headlights), but were period looking pieces that looked at home on the Packard. I commented to a friend that it was a shame someone had done that to what could have been a valuable car, and the owner overheard me. He said he agreed with me! The issue he had was that when he got the car all he really had was a frame and good body shell. He had the motor, but it wasn't salvageable. He intended to restore until he started getting prices for what he needed. So it was sell it for parts or do a mild custom. He opted for the later, and had about $20K in it instead of $200K to restore. He wasn't so scared to drive it either, though a fender would be hard to replace (come to think of it, I believe he had modified Model A front fenders... or from some other car...). I forget where he was from, it was a Cruising The Coast even in Mississippi around 2000-2004 (when I was stationed at Gulfport), but he drove it there some distance, no trailer. So there are some instances where putting a different engine in may make sense.

New Driver

She's never needed defending before this her first appearance at a Concourse event...


From the rear forward;

Custom 35 gal fuel tank

Molded fuel cap no touch.

Leather finish trunk compartment w/rear AC unit enclosure and access.

Backup camera

Original crome bumper and hubcaps

Custom built wheels to disguise widened and narrowed rims and utilize Ford bolt pattern as well as original spec hubcaps.

Custom 9" Ford rear end with 11" power disc brakes and parking brake.

Electric windows operated by the original door handles. 

Electric door locks (deadbolt) operated with keyfob.

Leather door panels, headliner, and seats.  14 cows perished

Six way adjustable 60/40 front seat, original rear seat.

Custom one off steering wheel to resemble the cars original banjo style wheel.

Tilt wheel column with cruise control, hazard flashers, turn signal and intermittent whiper control. Horn

Original dash restored to burlled walnut and sculpted to conceal AC ducts and in dash computer.  

Guages restored and programed for Ford engine with two additional guages for boost and air suspension pressures to match original style.

Speedo recalibrated and increased to 140 mph.

Tachometer at base of speedo face 6,000 rpm.  Easy to mis.

Custom one-off swan shifter from Lokar.  Had the pleasure of setting next to Mr. Lokar at SEMA dinner in Vegas, where car was on display in 2008.

Original spec running board mats.

Custom front rack & pinion steering with 11" discs up front.

Original oil filler cap with original paint!

LooverStat grill converted from water thermostat to electric servo. 

Original side and rear view mirrors and sun visors.

The warranty papers for the clock that matches the speedo on the glovebox, is in the glovebox and the clock keeps perfect time.

The goddess of speed is the original unmolested and perfect condition specimen.

The tires are ten ply truck tires to get the tread pattern nessessary for the white wall treatment we gave it. 

The front bumper and lights are original, in fact everything you see from outside the car is original to the car.  

The milage showing on the speedo of 36,000 miles are actual and certified.  At the age of 92, the original owner signed off on the 28,900 +/- miles as accurate when she sold it to me in 1978, I was 26. Her son was 72 and a friend down the street.

The car was in a trailer for the first time in 10 years for Keels and Wheels and I'm glad it was given the weather conditions and roads.  

I'm confident you will get to drive it one day...

PS:  It was recorded at 120+ on a lap at Kansas City Speedway filmed from the back seat.  It gets driven!  Cheers!



Community Manager

Oh man, it's even more awesome than I knew!  Wish I noticed the gauges when I saw it!